• Don’t impose your beliefs, Sotto tells Health chief

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    SENATE Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd on Tuesday criticized Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell Ubial over her statement that those who are against the plan of the Department of health (DOH) to distribute condoms to public high school students should not impose their beliefs on others.

    Sotto, one of those opposed to the DOH move, said Ubial should not dismiss the sentiments of conservative sectors just because they failed to implement the Reproductive Health law effectively.

    Tweets posted on Ubial’s account called on the oppositors of the DOH plan to distribute condoms to students not to impose their beliefs on others.

    “Let those who want to practice safe sex do so–according to their own beliefs and consciences,” Ubial tweeted.
    She added that if those against the health department’s plan have better ideas on how to reduce sexually transmitted infection among the youth, then they should share it with the department.

    Sotto added that instead of criticizing those against their ways in combating HIV/AIDS, should embark instead on an effective information campaign on moral values for the benefit of the Filipino youth.”

    Sotto earlier said that he would call for a Senate investigation into the DOH program and is also considering taking the issue to the Supreme Court if the DOH would insist on distributing condoms to young students.

    QC vice mayor backs ban

    In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista has prohibited the distribution of condoms to students in the city’s public schools but instead told the city’s health officials to give them away in the health facilities.

    Vice Mayor Ma. Josefina Belmonte said she sees nothing wrong with Mayor Bautista’s decision.

    “The mayor is right in not allowing the distribution of condoms in schools,” Belmonte said in an interview last Monday.

    However she clarified that she has nothing against the DOH plan to distribute condoms in all public schools most especially in QC, where the DOH was supposed to pilot test the project.

    “What is important to me is that kids be properly educated on safe sex and be given enough information. This should be included in the school curriculum so kids will understand the matter,” Bemonte emphasized.

    She added that this applies not only to the distribution of condoms but all other contraceptive tools as well.

    Belmonte said that giving away condoms to public school students without educating them on reproductive health would only encourage them to “experiment.”

    WITH DEMPSEY REYES

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